The Secret World (TSW) launched with eight dungeons and three tiers of difficulty for a total of 21 dungeon variants. Dungeons in TSW are not easy, some are quite challenging. You should have a reasonably tuned build and appropriate gearing before attempting dungeons. There are a variety of damage types that occur to characters in dungeons. For simplicity, I will group them into three categories:
– Typically scripted events or occurrences. Usually failing to counter these means death. This is the puzzle model for content that has become synonymous with difficulty in raid design for the past decade. Used well it adds flavor, used poorly it shows that the encounter designer was just flat out of ideas and inserted a “jump you fools” step… just because.
Special Effects - This is your monsters “regular” special attacks and is analogous to the combat effects you yourself use. Some of these are best countered/interrupted, some you can heal through, some you should avoid. This tends to represent your ability to react to events as they play out.
Passive damage – monsters still have auto attacks even if players in MMO’s are increasingly not getting them (we’re at what, 3-5 MMO’s without auto attack now?). This represents, typically, whether or not you have adequately progressed through gear/development to justify defeating the encounter.
TSW dungeons use all three types of damage and use them very well. The gimmick and special effect damage in TSW dungeons can be quite high (lethal if not countered in many cases). However, TSW does an admirable job of making the effects and triggers very obvious. If you are paying attention to the encounter, you can usually see an effect starting and figure out how to react to it.
TSW dungeons have very little “trash” mob population. In general, each dungeon has 4-6 bosses. Between bosses you will have anywhere from zero to three groups of trash (often zero). In many dungeons, trash can be bypassed if you explore around.
Only one member of the group needs to physically enter a dungeon. The other group members will automatically receive an invite to join at the dungeon. If any group member misses their invite, simply have the group leader right click on that persons health bar and choose “summon to instance.”
There are three categories of dungeons in TSW:
– these are leveling dungeons available near the end of a playfield. There are five leveling normal dungeons, one per playfield in Maine
(3) and Egypt
– these are quality level 10 dungeons. It includes three unique Romanian dungeons as well as an elite variant for each of the five leveling dungeons. Elite dungeons can be entered through the dungeon entrance (for Romanian dungeons) or through a special wing in Agartha (for all eight elites).
– these are the “end game” content pieces for TSW. Nightmare dungeons are QL 10, like elites. However, nightmare dungeons feature new mechanics for bosses. To enter the nightmare dungeon, you must complete a gating quest.